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Referee's Lounge Discussion of how to (and not to) Referee Traveller and Cepheus Engine games. No edition warring allowed.

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Old September 23rd, 2017, 02:56 AM
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Default Liquid and Hell worlds with High Populations

You're generating worlds for your subsector, when you end up with a Liquid or Hell world that has a population of a trillion on it. The chances of this occurring using real dice are very slim. But when it happens, what explanation/plot/hook do you give such a world at that moment?
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Old September 23rd, 2017, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnDriscoll View Post
You're generating worlds for your subsector, when you end up with a Liquid or Hell world that has a population of a trillion on it. The chances of this occurring using real dice are very slim. But when it happens, what explanation/plot/hook do you give such a world at that moment?
This is why I stick with 2D6-2 for population rolls

Must the inhabitants be human? Paul Elliott touched on this in his Universal World Profile book and suggests that they could be aliens well suited to the environment. Another alternative is they're humans, but they live in huge orbital colonies (O'Neill cylinders or a more modern equivalent). You'd need a high tech level for that. Of course you now have to figure out why the system has gigantic orbital colonies ...

If you're prepared to go with some out there woo-woo science, perhaps the world was the site of a (makes up a woo-woo science term on the spot) quantum coagulation event and now there are hundreds or thousands or millions of copies of everyone on the planet. Infrastructure is overloaded, there's a desperate relief effort under way consuming the food resources of three subsectors.
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Old September 23rd, 2017, 06:10 AM
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They don't live on the world, they live in orbital colonies and visit to extract handwavium.

They are augmented to survive the conditions - mechanical, biological, genetic or a combination

They were originally synthetics built to survive, but long ago won their freedom - or perhaps they didn't and the true masters lie beneath the waves (of lava)

They all live in habitats constructed to withstand the condiditions.

They are alien - it isn't a hell world to them.
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Old September 23rd, 2017, 09:40 AM
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You reroll. You are not stuck with a setting until you share it with players.
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Old September 23rd, 2017, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnDriscoll View Post
You're generating worlds for your subsector, when you end up with a Liquid or Hell world that has a population of a trillion on it. The chances of this occurring using real dice are very slim. But when it happens, what explanation/plot/hook do you give such a world at that moment?
WhIpsnade argued that the rules needed to be fixed to address this kind of thing. His example was a TL0 or TL1 civ living on a vacuum world.

My counter was that maybe the ref says that the world got stripped of its atmosphere, or some other cataclysm happened. And there's a remote possibility that there's a vast underworld cave network that was conducive to evolution; water, warmth, light of some kind and so forth.

But you can only have so many of those extreme examples, and it seems unlikely that there would be more than one such TL1 or TL0 civ on a vacuum world through extraordinary circumstances.

Ergo my response is I think you can do it one time with an extraordinary explanation, but if you keep generating the same kind of odd-duck worlds, then maybe the rules (or worlds) need tweaking.

Personally, I can't see a civ in its right mind putting a colony on a Venus or Mercury like world. It's just a dumb idea. A research station, maybe.
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Old September 23rd, 2017, 02:03 PM
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WhIpsnade argued that the rules needed to be fixed to address this kind of thing. His example was a TL0 or TL1 civ living on a vacuum world.

Ergo my response is I think you can do it one time with an extraordinary explanation, but if you keep generating the same kind of odd-duck worlds, then maybe the rules (or worlds) need tweaking.

Personally, I can't see a civ in its right mind putting a colony on a Venus or Mercury like world. It's just a dumb idea. A research station, maybe.
I think a gas world could have a "cloud city" refinery or two but your talking pops in the tens of thousands.
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Old September 23rd, 2017, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnDriscoll View Post
You're generating worlds for your subsector, when you end up with a Liquid or Hell world that has a population of a trillion on it. The chances of this occurring using real dice are very slim. But when it happens, what explanation/plot/hook do you give such a world at that moment?
By "Liquid" world, do you mean a "Water" world with the liquid being water and a hydrographic percentage of 100, or do you mean a world with liquid oceans of something besides water? If something besides water, then I start changing things, and also I do not allow for populations exceeding the billions.

As for the "Hell" world, I have house-ruled population die modifiers for atmospheric types and low hydrographic percentages. Once I get to atmosphere 9 "Dense Tainted", they start getting pretty large, like in the minus 6 range. If I decide I really need a world in that location, I either re-roll, or impose the characteristics that I want.
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Old September 24th, 2017, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by GrayPennell View Post
I think a gas world could have a "cloud city" refinery or two but your talking pops in the tens of thousands.
Yeah, good point. I think in the real world there's some proposal to float balloon habitats over Venus. I think that's way too dangerous for us, but I can see something like that in the 3I, or even before or after the period of the Third Imperium.
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Old September 24th, 2017, 04:16 AM
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Old September 24th, 2017, 01:56 PM
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None of my worlds have a trillion people on it yet.

I know that mining colonies, or prisons, abound in sf for Mercury. There is a twilight zone around the poles that would allow for this since Mercury isn't exactly tidally locked. It does rotate on its axis. Down in some deep craters there could be habitats.

There could be large schools of fish, and the oribiting habitats are there to deal with the fish catches, feeding the sub-sector. Or they could be selectively caught and fixed up as gourmet fish catches.

A place like Venus, there are a number of sf stories about orbiting and cloud cities for Venus. Some send ships down to the surface, and some look for materials in the clouds. Or they are there for long term terraforming by seeding the clouds with floating fungi to convert the atmosphere.
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